The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems

The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems

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The Chinese Nightingale

Second Section

America Watching the War, August, 1914, to April, 1917

  Where Is the Real Non-resistant?  Here's to the Mice!  When Bryan Speaks  To Jane Addams at the Hague     I. Speak Now for Peace    II. Tolstoi Is Plowing Yet  The Tale of the Tiger Tree  The Merciful Hand

Third Section

America at War with Germany, Beginning April, 1917

  Our Mother Pocahontas  Concerning Emperors  Niagara  Mark Twain and Joan of Arc  The Bankrupt Peace Maker  "This, My Song, is made for Kerensky"

Fourth Section

Tragedies, Comedies, and Dreams

  Our Guardian Angels and Their Children  Epitaphs for Two Players     I. Edwin Booth    II. John Bunny, Motion Picture Comedian  Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress  Two Old Crows  The Drunkard's Funeral  The Raft  The Ghosts of the Buffaloes  The Broncho that Would Not Be Broken  The Prairie Battlements  The Flower of Mending  Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie  To Lady Jane  How I Walked Alone in the Jungles of Heaven

Fifth Section

The Poem Games

  An Account of the Poem Games  The King of Yellow Butterflies  The Potatoes' Dance  The Booker Washington Trilogy     I. Simon Legree    II. John Brown   III. King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba  How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza

The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems

First Section

The Chinese Nightingale

A Song in Chinese Tapestries

  "How, how," he said. "Friend Chang," I said,  "San Francisco sleeps as the dead—  Ended license, lust and play:  Why do you iron the night away?  Your big clock speaks with a deadly sound,  With a tick and a wail till dawn comes round.  While the monster shadows glower and creep,  What can be better for man than sleep?"

  "I will tell you a secret," Chang replied;  "My breast with vision is satisfied,  And I see green trees and fluttering wings,  And my deathless bird from Shanghai sings."  Then he lit five fire-crackers in a pan.  "Pop, pop," said the fire-crackers, "cra-cra-crack."  He lit a joss stick long and black.  Then the proud gray joss in the corner stirred;  On his wrist appeared a gray small bird,  And this was the song of the gray small bird:  "Where is the princess, loved forever,  Who made Chang first of the kings of men?"

  And the joss in the corner stirred again;  And the carved dog, curled in his arms, awoke,  Barked forth a smoke-cloud that whirled and broke.  It piled in a maze round the ironing-place,  And there on the snowy table wide  Stood a Chinese lady of high degree,  With a scornful, witching, tea-rose face….  Yet she put away all form and pride,  And laid her glimmering veil aside  With a childlike smile for Chang and for me.

  The walls fell back, night was aflower,  The table gleamed in a moonlit bower,  While Chang, with a countenance carved of stone,  Ironed and ironed, all alone....